He posted a series of photos from the event to Twitter, showing people, including himself, wearing face masks with a transparent material in front of the mouth. They resemble regular surgical masks, except that they allow the mouth, and only the mouth, to be seen.
Twitter users were quick to make fun, pointing out how creepy his smile looks shown through a small transparent covering.
"I can’t decide… #HannibalTrudeau Or #JustinLechter," one user said, referencing Hannibal Lecter, the creepy, cannibalistic serial killer from the Silence of the Lambs.
As of Wednesday mid-afternoon, #JustinLechter had gained the most traction.
Transparent masks became an invaluable tool for the hard of hearing after the introduction of mask mandates, as they allowed them to read people's lips. They have been also used by school and daycare educators as a way to lessen the damage done to young children growing up not being able to see people's faces.
They also gained popularity amongst the general public as a way of gauging people's emotions through the expressions on their mouths.
Despite this, a recent study out of McGill University found that transparent masks did not restore our ability to empathize with others.
The Photos from the IDPD reception show a number of people not wearing masks at all, so it is clear that there was no obligation to do so. Perhaps Trudeau wanted to use this photo op as a reminder to the public that the emergency is still not over.
Trudeau came under fire in August for exiting a plane in Costa Rica without a mask, while Canadians were still being mandated to wear them. His wearing of a mask at this reception could also be an overcorrection of this mistake.
Regardless of Trudeau's reasoning for wearing this mask, he looks creepy.
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